Inspiring the Next Generation of



Looking for something to do that's fun, exciting and educational? Almost every week, there's something spectacular awaiting you and your family.


Check out what's happening in your redwoods state parks, subscribe to our newsletter, find out what's going on in California State Parks.


We support nature education and enrichment programs at Henry Cowell and Big Basin Redwoods State Parks because an informed public will ensure the preservation of your redwoods state parks.

Our Work

We partner with the community to invest in educational experiences that inspire protection of the redwoods state parks in our area. We also help support the maintenance of 150 miles of park trails and the stewarding of more than 23,000 acres of forest.


Nature Museums & Visitor Centers

Natural & Cultural History Events

Professional Interpretive Staff

Trail Signs, Information Panels, Books, Guides, Maps & Printed Park Materials

Support the Next Generation of Redwoods State Park Stewards

We are all facing our greatest environmental challenge ever.  You can help educate our young people about their role in the critical balance of nature. The educational programs your gift supports will teach them to preserve what’s right in their own back yards.

Plan Your Park Visit

Big Basin, Henry Cowell and Fall Creek are where you can go to explore, exercise and discover all the natural wonders on display every day of the year.

Big Basin

Established in 1902, Big Basin is the oldest state park, and the birth place of the conservation movement.


Explore the largest continuous stand of ancient coast redwoods south of San Francisco, including old-growth specimens dating back to the Roman Empire. The park also offers mesmerizing views of the Pacific Ocean, waterfalls, and inspiring natural and cultural history.  The park has more than 80 miles of trails.


Follow the link below to discover activites like hiking and camping, read up on Big Basin's rich history, meet the state park staff, and explore the Nature Lodge Museum where you can learn so much about this internationally known treasure.

Henry Cowell

Visit this famous 40-acre grove with the most majestic old-growth redwood trees admired by explorer John C. Frémont and President Theodore Roosevelt. The tallest tree in the park is approximately 277 feet tall.


There are four diverse habitats that this park including the Santa Cruz sandhills—an ancient sea bed and home to several endemic species.  Keep a look out for banana slugs, black-tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats, or steelhead trout.


There's hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, swimming, and camping on more than 4,650 acres of forested and open land. Check out all this amazing park has to offer.

The Nature Store at Henry Cowell

Here you will find a wide array of interesting and educational gifts from local artisans including artistic prints, note cards, journals, jewelry, walking sticks and useful items made from redwood. While you’re here, you can also enjoy a variety of refreshments and snacks like fresh brewed coffee from Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting and Marianne’s Ice Cream. Every dollar you spend in the Store helps make your parks something special.Our hours change throughout the seasons, please call us at (831) 335-0782 for more information.

Sponsor a Tree

In memory of a loved one, as a unique gift, or to celebrate a special occasion, your sponsorship gift will help fund educational experiences that inspire the protection of our State Parks.

In the News: Big Basin Nature Museum & Research Center

Featuring the Campaign to Raise $1.1MM to Renovate This Treasure

Check out this KSBW clip featuring  the Big Basin Museum and Research Center and the current renovation campaign designed to make this overlooked gem into a state-of-the-art facility designed to teach the next generation of redwood state park stewards to care for everything presious in your park. This segment features our very own Brenda Holmes and board member, Larry Tierney, as they discuss plans for this exciting project. If you donate now to the project, it will be matched, dollar-for-dollar thanks to a $25,000 grant from Dean Witter Foundation.

California State Parks Backpacking 2017

Registration opens 8am, February 1

Who better to lead you through our parks than California State Park professionals? Six backpacking trips are offered from April through September 2017 ranging from one to three nights offering options for every experience level. Hike spectacular ridgelines, old growth redwood forests, to sandy shores with our knowledgeable team of backcountry naturalists. Native plant teas, trail desserts, skills demonstrations, campfire stories and jokes are added bonuses!
This program is truly unique, the only such program led by California State Park staff. Participation is open to adults 18 or over and children ages 13 to 17 accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information, please visit, or email, or call (831) 291-8273. Events made possible by California State Parks, Mountain Parks Foundation, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, Waddell Creek Association, Sempervirens Fund, and Portola and Castle Rock Foundation.State Parks in Santa Cruz is hiring Seasonal Park Interpreters to promote high quality educational experiences for the public by researching, developing, promoting, and conducting natural and cultural history interpretive programs. These may include nature walks, campfire programs, AV presentations, Junior Ranger programs, living history presentations, roving interpretation and outreach presentations. Additionally, Park Interpreters compile interpretive resources and data for job-related duties. Park Interpreters might also publicize park programs through news releases and park flyers. They are looking for interpreters to fill positions at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, Butano Redwoods State Park, and New Brighton and Sunset State Beach.

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525 North Big Trees Park Road, Felton, CA 95018
(831) 335-3174
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